Dim sum anyone?
If you’re looking for a bite of the traditional Cantonese meal, East Harbor Seafood Palace in the Brooklyn Chinatown of 8th Avenue is a good option. Eighth Avenue is lined with numerous restaurants and eateries to try, but East Harbor Seafood Palace is my preferred choice because the restaurant is spacious, the food is consistently good, and the plates and utensils are always clean. It’s big enough to host large groups.
For those unfamiliar with dim sum, also described as going “yum cha” in Cantonese, it’s the Cantonese version of brunch. Dim sum is served from morning to early afternoon (around 2pm). It’s best to go before 12pm to avoid the long wait. Little dishes, often kept warm in individual bamboo steamer baskets, are paraded around in push carts so you can hail down the cart with the dish of your heart’s desire. The dishes are served along with tea to aid digestion which is why having dim sum is called “yum cha”, which literally means “drinking tea”. Each of the dishes ordered are marked off on a card to keep track of how many are ordered.
At East Harbor Seafood Palace, they don’t have picture menus explaining each dish, which can be intimidating to anyone who doesn’t speak Chinese or who’s not familiar with dim sum, because who knows what you’re eating. But never fear! There are a lot of iPhone and Android apps out there with pictures and descriptions of each dish like Dim Sum Assistant and HK Dim Sum 101, which are free on Google Play. Sadly, I couldn’t find any free ones for the iPhone.
Now that we’re done with the dim sum introduction, here are some pictures to seduce your taste buds. I won’t review each dish as I didn’t try everything ordered but the general consensus between me and my friends was that it was a good meal that left us quite happy.
These clams with black bean sauce and sliced peppers were nice and hot, straight from the wok on the push cart!
The glutinous rice is portioned into individual bowls for each order. They’re plopped upside down onto a dish while displayed on the push cart and uncovered when served.
The egg tarts are my favorite dessert there; I get them every time I go! The crusts are flaky and the egg custard is sweetened just right to enhance the egg flavor. Mmm…I’ll have to drool over this picture until next time.
East Harbor Seafood Palace
714 65th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11220